MoD: Philip Hammond for Chancellor in the next ministerial re-shuffle? - The MOD's budget deficit has been ‘wiped out for the first time in a generation’, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond announced last week claiming that the £38bn black hole in the Defence Budget that the Government inherited in 2010 has now been eliminated. It means that, for the first time, the MOD's core equipment programme is fully funded & affordable.
DH: Poor health is a common factor among re-offenders - The Offender Health Collaborative (a consortium led by Nacro) has been selected to support the cross government Health & Criminal Justice Transition Programme in managing the National Liaison and Diversion Development Network.
The Government has committed to the implementation of liaison & diversion services at all police custody suites and criminal courts, subject to a positive business case approval by 2014 and the Collaborative will work with local schemes to develop the good practice guidance, quality standards, and workforce requirements as well as reviewing & testing different models of commissioning & provision of liaison and diversion services. This will be achieved via a network of liaison & diversion schemes across England.
DUK: Framework still not become a reality after 11 years! - Diabetes healthcare in England has drifted into a ‘state of crisis’ where 'less than half of people with the condition are getting the basic minimum care they need', a new report has warned.
According to the State of the Nation 2012 report, published by Diabetes UK, there are some areas where just 6% of people with diabetes are getting the regular checks & services recommended by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
The report also highlights how a National Service Framework for diabetes – which sets out the healthcare people with the condition should be getting – has been in place for 11 years, but has yet to become a reality.
Diabetes UK, said, "We already know that diabetes in costing the NHS a colossal amount of money, but this report shows how in exchange for this investment we are getting second-rate healthcare that is putting people with diabetes at increased risk of tragic complications and early death”.
DfE: Don’t some LA’s care what impact they are having on the children - Hundreds of children are forced to wait an average of 20 months from entering care to moving in with their adoptive parents – 6 months slower than the timetable set out in national guidance, according to official figures published recently.
The first ever local authority adoption scorecards show 80 local authority areas have met the interim thresholds (of 21 months from entering care to adoption and matching a child to a family within 7 months of a court order being made). But the other 72 did not meet one or both of these key measures – which will be lowered gradually to 14 months and 4 months respectively within 4 years.
WWF: Increasing world-wide demand for food & obesity issues requires a joined-up strategy on food - Responding to the publication recently by the Environmental Audit Committee of their report on Sustainable Food, WWF-UK said that the Government must not ignore the urgent need to develop a joined-up strategy on food.
WWF-UK said it would have liked to see the report go further and calls for the Government to define a sustainable diet, getting the Department of Health to work with Defra to accomplish this. The group said that the Government should also tackle other complex issues around production, consumption and subsidies that some stakeholders would like brushed under the carpet.
STFC: Simplify the jargon so policy makers can make decisions based on imartial viewpoints - The Science and Technology Facilities Council continues to sponsor 3-month fellowships with the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology, an organisation that provides government with in-house impartial advice on a range of science and technology policy issues.
STFC funded PhD students can apply to join the scheme in which they are asked, amongst other activities in Parliament, to research & write material for a ‘POST note’. This is a document covering a specific technical topic that ‘breaks down jargon and presents the different viewpoints on the issue impartially for MPs, Peers & other policy makers’.
The scheme gives students the chance to learn about how policy is developed & meet with policymakers and helps develop skills in communicating with non-academic audiences.
EU News: Apparently EU politicians still cannot face the reality of EU crisis - The European Commission should ‘have more control over fiscal policy in EU Member States, but not the free rein it asked for’, says the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee in texts, voted on last Monday, stating a position on the economic governance ‘two pack’. This increased power must be democratically controlled and serve to spur economic growth, MEPs say.
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